Ford is talking with an American engineering firm about selling part of its New Zealand operations for $NZ500 million ($NZ214.6 million), so it can focus solely on vehicle distribution and assembly of heavy trucks.

A recently revamped factory in South Auckland, which produces around 1.5 million alloy wheels per year mainly for US export, is said to be part of the proposed deal.

Ford New Zealand executives won't discuss specifics and admit only that they have been approached by several major wheel manufacturers over the last few years.